31 August. 1867 N. 1253.

The Economist, 31. August 1867. S. 983/984.
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The Finances of Russia.

Consul Michell’s Report of Russian finance friendly to Russia; he obtained his appointment partly through Russian influence. It shows that that Gvt. never succeeds even temporarily in avoiding a deficit. Before 1832, each Russian department spent at its own discretion; deficiencies made up by the issue of inconvertible notes, sales of property, or by leaving debts unpaid. In 1832 a slightly better system introduced, but Treasury still unable to make expenditure and revenue meet, and compelled every year either to borrow money abroad, or to take money from the State Banks of Deposit, or issue inconvertible paper.

Between 1832 and 1861 thus obtained 216,000,000l., average deficit for 30 years of 7 Mill. l. a year.

Official admitted deficit of 1862 over l.1,500,000;
1863 1,700,000;
1864 6,300,000.
1865. 2,700,000 
1866 5,700,000.

Michell shows that this is far within the truth. The State helps itself from the National Bank as it pleases, giving only inconvertible |161 paper in return; and so, in one way or other, the Russian Gvt., von 1861–1866 borrowed 75, 75 Mill. l., or at the rate of 15 Mill. l. a year, an average deficit of nearly double the old amount. Much of all this debt met by notes which bears bear no interest, and the interest bearing debt bears no proportion to the real indebtedness of the State. No one knows how much paper is afloat, total enormous, but public debt = 286 Mill. l., mit annual charge of 11 Mill. l., or average of about 41/2%. As the ordinary revenue in 1866 = 53 Mill. l. St., Russia owes, apart from her paper, nearly 6 years income, and has mortgaged nearly 1/5 of her usual receipts, not a very formidable state of affairs when compared mit English, French, or Dutch accounts, but very formidable when compared mit dem true analogue, India, which owes barely 2 years income, and has mortgaged little more than a tithe of her revenue. India, moreover, has no inconvertible paper. Yet India can borrow at 5%. Michell says, as to the unknown quantity of inconvertible notes: „The accounts between the Treasury and the State Bank are so complicated as to defy any inquiry for the purpose of making a statement beyond dispute. Practically, the State helps itself to whatever it wants from the Bank, which is thereby compelled to issue more inconvertible notes to ‚strengthen the branches‘, and thus to suspend its own charter. The Treasury has broken the State Bank, for it has long been unable meet its engagements to pay specie. Nor could it return to the public their deposits if demanded, except by a corresponding new issue of inconvertible paper.[“] „Irrespective of 45,000 men serving in the Imperial army, the 800,000 rank and file, supplied by a total population of about 55 millions, constitutes 14/10% of that portion of the population liable to conscription, while the numerical relation of the army to the population of the empire (70 mill.) exceeds that of France and Prussia by 1/3.“

„At the same time“, says Michell „the number of young men eligible in Russia for service is comparatively far smaller than in other countries of Europe, where about 1% of the population yearly reaches the age of 20 years, and of these 40[%] are fitted for military service. In Russia, owing to the mortality of the children, it takes 50 millions of the population to produce the number of young men of 20 years that France can command with a population of 38 mill. According to this calculation, the number of men of the class liable to military service, who reach the age of 20 years in Russia, about 400,000 p. an.; of these, perhaps not more than 160,000 are fitted for the army; but the actual number yearly taken is 100,000, and these only return to their families after 8 years’ service. Official Expenditure 33% of revenue; in der That immer viel mehr. Ausserdem charge to the country by the fact that the annual expense to the male taxable population of furnishing a contingent of 100,000 recruits cannot be less than 31/2 mill. roubles, while their liability to transport and quarter troops is estimated at 15 Mill. roubles, constituting a tax of 60 to 70 copecks per male; while in order to possess irregular troops, 3 mill. of a population occupying the most fertile provinces of the empire are exempted from all taxes and contributions.“


  • London. 1868.
  • 1866 „The Economist“ (Jahrgang 1866) vol. XXIV.
  • The Social Economist, 1. Oktober 1868
  • „The Economist“ (Jahrgang 1866) (Fortsetzung)
  • Jahrgang 1867.
  • Register der obigen Auszüge aus dem Economist für 1866 und 1867.
  • The „Money Market Review“. Jahrgang 1866.
  • The Money Market Review. Jahrgang 1867.
  • Register Money Market Review Jahrgänge 1866 und 1867